Frequent used assessment of art therapy

a research that collect thirty-five published and unpublished quantitative studies related to art therapy assessments and rating instruments were systematically analyzed.

The tools examined in the analysis are:

A Favorite Kind of Day (AFKOD);

the Bird’s Nest Drawing (BND);

the Bridge Drawing;

the Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS),

the Child Diagnostic Drawing Series (CDDS);

and the Person Picking an Apple from a Tree (PPAT).


Rating instruments are also investigated,

including the Descriptive Assessment of Psychiatric Art (DAPA),

the DDS Rating Guide and Drawing Analysis Form (DAF),

and the Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS).



The Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS) (Cohen, Hammer, & Singer, 1988) The DDS s a three-picture art interview that was developed in 1982 by art therapists

It can be administered individually and in groups. Materials are: 18” x 24” white 60 lb or 70 lb drawing paper that has a slight tooth or texture; standard 12 pack of Alphacolor square chalk pastels (unwrapped) in North America; Faber Castell elsewhere. DDS Directives (Cohen & Mills, 2000): 1)

Free Picture:“Make a picture with these materials.” This is the unstructured task of the Series. It typically reveals a manifestation of the client’s defense system (i.e., the amount and type of information the patient is initially willing to share [Feder & Feder, 1998]) 2) Tree Picture: “Draw a picture of a tree.” (NB: even if a tree was drawn in the first picture.) This is the structured task of the Series. Deemed to be non-threatening subject (Feder & Feder, 1998). 3) Feeling Picture: “Make a picture of how you’re feeling using lines, shapes, and colors.” This is a semi- structured task, it asks the client to communicate about his/her affective state directly, as well as to represent it in abstract form. “Patients are rarely fooled by the artifice of projective tests, which are now part of our popular culture. If we want to know about the patient’s experience or self concept, why not simply ask?” (Cohen, Mills, & Kijak, 1994)


The Person Picking an Apple From a Tree (PPAT) (Gantt, 1990) This assessment consists of one drawing that can be administered in an individual or group art therapy session (Arrington, 1992). The client is asked to “Draw a picture of a person picking an apple from a tree.” The materials include one piece of 12 by 18 inch white drawing paper and a set of 12 Mr. Sketch scented felt-tip markers. The drawings are rated with the Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS) manual (Gantt & Tabone, 1998).

The PPAT drawing was first described by Viktor Lowenfeld (1939, 1947) in a study he conducted on children’s use of space in art. His instructions were detailed: “You are under an apple tree. On one of its lower branches you see an apple that you particularly admire and that you would like to have. You stretch out your hand to pick the apple, but your reach is a little short. Then you make a great effort and get the apple after all. Now you have it and enjoy eating it. Draw yourself as you are taking the apple off the tree” (1947, pp. 75-76). Little else has been written about this drawing. Greg Furth included examples in his book The Secret World of Drawings (1988, p. 86-88) but did not discuss his reason for using it.

Gantt and Tabone (1998) credit art therapist Tally Tripp for bringing the idea of the PPAT to Washington, DC from Georgia. Ta lly had worked with a Georgia art therapist who used the PPAT frequently.



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